Published On: Mon, Jan 25th, 2016

Jews are leaving France in record numbers amid rising anti-Semitism and fears of more Isis-inspired terror attacks

More than 8, 000 Jews left France for Israel in 2015 – a rate far higher than anywhere else in Europe

Aliya Olim Immigration ISRAEL EL AL

 

Jewish emigration from Western Europe had a “record year” in 2015. Amid rising anti-Semitism and fears of more Isis-inspired assaults and mass casualty terror attacks, more than 7, 000 Jews left France for Israel last year hitting up from 1, 900 in 2011. This rate far higher than anywhere else in Europe but consistent with what over the past few years has become the largest mass movement of Jews since the formation of Israel in 1948.

This trend, said Minister Naftali Bennett “represent a significant challenge to the fabric of Jewish life in Europe and beyond, ” adding that he viewed anti-Semitic violence as stemming from “European Muslims born in Europe and educated in European education systems” rather than from newly arrived refugees.

The minister briefs the government on such trends every year immediately prior to International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which falls on Wednesday, January 27.

A 2013 EU poll found that 74 percent of French Jews are now so scared of being attacked for their religion. Third of European Jews had admitted to refraining from wearing religious garb or Jewish symbols out of fear, with a further 23 percent avoiding attending Jewish events or going to Jewish venues.

The rise of Muslim migration to France and Isis’ calls for an increase in attacks on Jewish citizens in particular has only added to the fear. In city of Marseilles alone there have been three knife attacks on Jewish citizens since October – the most recent against teacher Benjamin Amsellem, 35, whose life was only saved when he used a copy of the Torah to fight off his allegedly Isis-inspired teenage attacker.

In comparison Britain has the second highest number of Jews leaving for Israel but the figures are still one tenth lower than France with just 774 departures last year.

Bennett cited statistics indicating that anti-Semitic incidents in London rose more than 60 percent during the 12-month period ending November 15 and that incidents in France shot up 84 percent in the first quarter of 2015 when compared to the same period the previous year.

Aside from Islamic anti-Semitism, increasing support for BDS also presents a grave threat to Jews, stating that the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement was “gaining momentum” in Europe and that it “promotes a boycott not only of Israel but the representatives and Jewish events, as well.”
Delegitimization of Israel and activities such as demonstrations against the Jewish state and accusations that it is “bloodthirsty and illegitimate” create a “slippery slope leading, in the end, to attacks against Jews who identify with Israel, ” he warned.

In late 2013, the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency reported that a third of European Jews it had polled had admitted to refraining from wearing religious garb or Jewish symbols out of fear, with a further 23 percent avoiding attending Jewish events or going to Jewish venues.

This month, a senior community official in Marseilles called on Jews to cease wearing kippot in public for fear of being attacked. In response, French lawmakers donned skullcaps to show solidarity with their Jewish constituents.

“At the same time that Muslim anti-Semitism against Jews is worsening, anti-Semitism seeks new dimensions.

Anti-Semitism seeks to quietly find a safe place in academic buildings, under roofs of organizations dealing with alleged human rights, and there is a worsening of incitement and hatred, ” Bennett said.

There is a culture of hostility to Israel that makes Jews feel uncomfortable on American campuses, Bennett said, asserting that around 75 percent of American university students have witnessed anti-Semitism within the context of activities of anti-Zionist campus organizations or from anti-Israel professors.

Muslim anti-Semitism and the rise of the anti-Islamic far right feed into each other, he added, calling the two trends and hostility toward Israel threats to communities across the Continent.

Bennett also cited a 2012 study that found that as many as 40 percent of respondents in many European countries believed Israel was conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians.

On Sunday, the World Zionist Organization released the results of a survey it conducted that found that 67 percent of Israelis are concerned for the lives of Jews abroad, while 83 percent said they were willing to invest in absorbing immigrants, even at the expense of employing Israelis, and that the state should intervene in the labor market to aid such absorption.

Read more about: , , , , , ,

Wordpress site Developed by Fixing WordPress Problems